At Work We Get Paid Every Two Weeks, But Can I Get My Paycheck Earlier?

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At Work We Get Paid Every Two Weeks, But Can I Get My Paycheck Earlier?

How Overtime Throws a Wrench in Pay Periods

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I am an administrative employee and I live paycheck to paycheck. We get paid every other Friday and I have my paychecks directly deposited into my bank account. The problem is there is a two-day delay from the end of our pay period to when we get paid and my bank puts a two-day hold on the funds. So even though the pay period ends on Wednesday, I don’t get access to my funds until Monday morning. My boss says payroll can’t be called in until everyone has completed their Wednesday time sheets because the firm needs to see if overtime was worked. Can I do anything to get paid earlier?

Maybe. Technically you are being paid within the period mandated by California law. Here is how it works.  

Regular wages for nonexempt employees (those not entitled to overtime) are payable at least twice each month on days designated in advance by the employer. The day, time and place of the regular payday must be posted in the workplace. Payment for regular wages must be made within seven days of the close of the pay period. Since your pay period closes on a Wednesday, technically you need not be paid until the following Wednesday.

Payment of overtime wages earned in one pay period may be paid on the payday of the following pay period (but no later). For example, if you worked 40 regular hours and two hours of overtime in the first two-week period of the month, your employer would have to pay your regular pay no later than seven days after the close of the first pay period, but could legally pay you the two hours of overtime in the second one. If your employer is concerned about overtime in the time sheets, you could point out that you can legally be paid the overtime in the following pay period.  

By the way, the employer must pay your regular pay even when you have not turned in a record of time worked.  

As for your wanting quicker access to your funds, perhaps you should talk to your bank or look for another that will not put a hold on the payroll funds deposited by your employer.   

Amy Semmel is an attorney with the firm of Donfeld, Kelley & Rollman. Her practice emphasizes employment, trade secret and business tort law. The information discussed here is a general explanation of the law, and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Readers requiring legal advice regarding a specific situation should consult an employment attorney.

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